Introduction to South Dakota Slot Machine Casino Gambling
South Dakota slot machine casino gambling consists of 27 small commercial casinos in Deadwood as well as eleven tribal casinos spread throughout the state. Non-traditional slots choices include 1,336 bars and taverns with a total of 9,108 video lottery terminals offering poker, keno, blackjack, and bingo.
If applying the strict definition of slot machine, then only Deadwood and tribal casinos have traditional slot machines. The South Dakota Commission on Gaming offers actual payout return statistics for the Deadwood casino, but none are available for the tribal casinos.
If you do not restrict the definition of a slot machine to the type of game being played, then video lottery terminals offering poker, keno, blackjack, and bingo would also slot machines. For these video lottery games, the South Dakota lottery has compiled a list of the odds of winning for each game offered, but does not offer actual payout returns.
South Dakota also has two pari-mutuel facilities with horseracing during the spring season, but do not offer slot machines at them. Simulcast and dog racing are offered at an additional facility.
This post continues the weekly blog series “Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State“, a year-long online resource project dedicated to guiding slot machine gambling enthusiasts to success.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling*
The minimum legal age for casino gambling in South Dakota is 21. It is 18 for pari-mutual wagering, the lottery, and tribal casino bingo.
Children are allowed in most casinos with their parents until 8 p.m. South Dakota is the only U.S. gaming jurisdiction allowing minors to be present while their parents gamble.
In early 2014, the maximum bet on slot machines at both commercial and tribal casinos was raised from $2 to $5. At the same time, the prior legal limit of the $1,000 maximum jackpot was amended to instead be adjustable as authorized by the Lottery Commission.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership
It is legal to privately own a slot machine in the state of South Dakota if it was manufactured prior to 1941.
State Gaming Commission
Three relevant gaming control boards exist in South Dakota, including the following state agencies:
- South Dakota Commission on Gaming;
- South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations; and
- South Dakota Lottery.
The South Dakota Commission on Gaming regulates gaming at the casinos in Deadwood. This state agency provides actual payout return statistics for the Deadwood casinos. From mid-2016 to mid-2017, these actual payout return percentages were:
- Penny Slots (1¢): 90.73%;
- Nickel Slots (5¢): 93.79%;
- Quarter Slots (25¢): 90.74%;
- Dollar Slots ($1): 92.35%;
- 5-Dollar Slots ($5): 91.94; and
- Average for All Denominations: 91.04%.
- Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe;
- Crow Creek Sioux Tribe;
- Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe;
- Lower Brule Sioux Tribe;
- Oglala Sioux Tribe;
- Rosebud Sioux Tribe;
- Sisseton Wahpeton Tribe;
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; and
- Yankton Sioux Tribe.
Five of these gaming compacts have already been extended, with another extension being proposed. No actual payout return percentages are available for eleven tribal casinos in South Dakota owned by these nine American Indian tribes.
The South Dakota Lottery regulates slot machines as video lottery terminals. It was voted into existence via a statewide referendum where 60% of the electorate approved an amendment to the state constitution to create this state lottery, its commission, and the sale of instant tickets.
By state law, bars and taverns are legally limited to 30 slot machines per gambling license, with a limit of 3 licenses per individual operator. As of July 19, 2017, the South Dakota Lottery had assigned 1,337 active gambling licenses.
Individual operators can form a cooperative with other licensed operators to give the appearance of a relatively large casino. Note that at least three video lottery terminal gambling licenses are currently assigned to the town of Deadwood.
The South Dakota Lottery has compiled a list of the odds of winning at each of the different types of video lottery games available in this state. This list was created by independent gaming labs at the request of the South Dakota Lottery.
In 1989, South Dakota pioneered the first state video lottery in the nation. Since then, multiple attempts have been made to repeal video lottery. These includes a repeal on the 1992 general election ballot as well as again placed before voters in 2000 and 2006. None of these attempts were successful in repealing video lottery.
The most intense attempts at blocking video lottery in South Dakota occurred in 1994. Activities included:
- June: Based on a lawsuit, video lottery was declared unconstitutional by the South Dakota Supreme Court;
- July: In a special legislative session, state lawmakers passed a resolution to place a constitutional amendment on the general election ballet to reauthorized it;
- August: A court order was handed down to shut down video lottery, but it was reauthorized by voters at a 53% to 47% margin; and
- November: Video lottery was restarted.
The largest casino in South Dakota is the Royal River Casino & Hotel, a tribal casino located in Flandreau. It has 386 gaming machines and 10 table games.
The second largest is Silverado Franklin Hotel and Casino, a commercial casino located in Deadwood. It has 361 gaming machines and zero table games.
There are 27 casinos in Deadwood as well as 11 tribal casinos in South Dakota. Download this list of links to each casino’s website, assuming a website exists. The 36 casinos in South Dakota having traditional slot machines including:
- Best Western Hickok House in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Buffalo-Bodega Gaming Complex in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Bullock Hotel in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Dakota Connection in Sisseton, a tribal casino located 165 miles north of Sioux Falls.
- Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel in Watertown, a tribal casino located 104 miles north of Sioux Falls.
- Deadwood Comfort Inn & Suites Hall in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Deadwood Dick’s Saloon and Gaming Hall in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Deadwood Gulch Gaming Resort in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Deadwood Mountain Grand in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Deadwood Station Bunkhouse and Gambling Hall in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- East Wind Casino in Martin, a tribal casino located 122 miles southeast of Rapid City.
- First Gold Hotel & Gaming in Deadwood, a commercial casino. This gambling establishment includes the Blackjack Casino and Horseshoe Casino.
- Fort Randall Casino Hotel in Pickstown, a tribal casino located 100 miles southwest of Sioux Falls.
- Gold Country Inn Gambling Hall and Cafe in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Gold Dust Casino & Hotel in Deadwood, a commercial casino. This gambling establishment includes the French Quarter Casino, Legends Casino, and Silver Dollar Casino.
- Golden Buffalo Casino in Lower Brule, a tribal casino located 45 miles southeast of Pierre.
- Grand River Casino and Resort in Mobridge, a tribal casino located 240 miles northeast of Rapid City.
- Hickok’s Hotel and Casino in Deadwood, a commercial casino. This gambling establishment includes the B.B. Cody’s Casino.
- Iron Horse Inn in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Kevin Costner’s The Midnight Star in Deadwood, a commercial casino. CLOSED August 29, 2017.
- Lode Star Casino & Hotel in Fort Thompson, a tribal casino located 150 miles northwest of Sioux Falls.
- The Lodge in Deadwood in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Lucky 8 Gaming Hall/Super 8 Motel in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Main Street Deadwood Gulch Bar in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Martin & Mason Hotel in Deadwood, a commercial casino. This gambling establishment includes the Wooden Nickel Casino and Lee Street Station.
- Mineral Palace Hotel & Gaming in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Mustang Sally’s in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Old Style Saloon #10 in Deadwood, a commercial casino. This gambling establishment includes The Utter Place card room.
- Oyster Bay/Fairmont Hotel in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Prairie Wind Casino & Hotel in Oglala, a tribal casino located 85 miles southeast of Rapid City.
- Rosebud Casino in Mission, a tribal casino located 22 miles south of Mission.
- Silverado-Franklin Historic Hotel & Gaming Complex in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
- Tin Lizzie Gaming in Deadwood, a commercial casino. This gambling establishment includes the Four Aces Casino.
- Veterans of Foreign War Black Hills Post 5969 in Deadwood, a commercial casino.
In addition, the South Dakota Lottery has provided a downloadable list, sorted alphabetically by city, of all South Dakota bars and taverns having video lottery machines.
Summary of South Dakota Slot Machine Casino Gambling
South Dakota slot machine casino gambling consists of 27 frontier-like casinos within historic Deadwood as well as eleven American Indian tribal casinos. The South Dakota Commission on Gaming offers actual payout return statistics for Deadwood casinos, but none are provided for tribal casinos.
Non-traditional slots choices include 9,108 video lottery terminals at 1,336 bars and taverns located throughout the state offering video poker, keno, blackjack, and bingo. For these video lottery games, the South Dakota lottery has compiled a list of the odds of winning for each game offered, but does not offer actual payout returns.
South Dakota also has two horse tracks offering pari-mutuel wagering during the spring season, but do not also offer slot machines. Simulcast and dog racing are provided at an additional facility.
Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots
- Main: Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State
- Previous: South Carolina Slot Machine Casino Gambling 2018 – South Carolina slot machine casino gambling consists of luxury yacht day trips and multi-day cruise ship to international destinations through Carnival Cruise Lines. South Carolina is the most restrictive U.S. state, after Utah, in terms of most forms of gambling. There are no land-based or racinos in South Carolina.
- Next: Tennessee Slot Machine Casino Gambling 2018 – Tennessee slot machine casino gambling does not exist. Why? Because, there are no commercial casinos, racetracks, or tribal casinos. Alternatively, a few of Tennessee’s seven neighboring states offer extensive slot machine casino gambling options, most notably within the great U.S. states of Mississippi and Missouri.
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